Top 10 Most Expensive Divorces In History

Divorce, often an emotional and challenging process, can also become a financially staggering event, particularly for the ultra-wealthy. Over the years, several high-profile divorces have resulted in jaw-dropping settlements, with billions of dollars changing hands. As of 2024, here are the ten most expensive divorces in history, showcasing how love lost can sometimes translate into monumental financial transactions.

The Most Expensive Divorces in History

1. Bill and Melinda Gates

Most Charitable People

Settlement Amount: $76 Billion

The 2021 divorce of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda was another high-profile split that shocked the world. Although the exact amount of the settlement is not fully disclosed. The divorce is finalized. It’s the most expensive divorce in history. How much Melinda got? Some sources claims she get $76 billion dollars. But, CNN claimed it was $50 billion.

2. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott

Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott

Settlement Amount: $38.3 Billion

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, and his wife MacKenzie Scott finalized their divorce in 2019, resulting in MacKenzie receiving 25% of the couple’s Amazon stock, valued at $38.3 billion at the time. This settlement made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. Despite the divorce, MacKenzie pledged to donate a significant portion of her wealth to charitable causes.

3. Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovleva

Most Expensive Divorces In History

Settlement Amount: $4.5 Billion

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s divorce from Elena in 2014 initially resulted in a staggering $4.5 billion award. However, after numerous appeals, the final settlement was reduced to $4.5 Billion. This case is notable for its extensive legal battles and high stakes.

4. Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein

Alec and Jocelyn Wildenstein

Settlement Amount: $3.8 Billion

The divorce of art dealer Alec Wildenstein and his wife Jocelyn in 1999 remains one of the most expensive divorces ever. Known for her extensive cosmetic surgeries, Jocelyn was awarded $2.5 billion initially, followed by $100 million annually for the next 13 years, totaling $3.8 billion.

5. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West aka Ye officially divorced in November 2022. It’s another most expensive divorce in history. The $2.7 billion divorce, plus $200,000 per month child support paid by West.

6. Rupert and Anna Murdoch

10 Most Expensive Divorces

Settlement Amount: $1.7 Billion

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from his second wife Anna in 1999 resulted in a settlement of $1.7 billion, including $110 million in cash. The couple had been married for 32 years and had three children together. Shortly after the divorce, Murdoch married Wendi Deng, a move that surprised many.

7. Craig and Wendy McCaw

10 Most Expensive Divorces

Settlement Amount: $1.7 Billion

Telecom magnate Craig McCaw’s divorce from Wendy McCaw in 1998 ended with a $1.7 Billion settlement. The couple had amassed considerable wealth through McCaw Cellular, which was sold to AT&T. Wendy used part of her settlement to buy and operate a newspaper in Santa Barbara, California.

8. Steve and Elaine Wynn

Steve and Elaine Wynn

Settlement Amount: $1.4 Billion

The divorce of casino mogul Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine in 2010 resulted in a settlement close to $1.4 billion. This was their second divorce, having remarried after their first split. The settlement significantly impacted Steve Wynn’s control over his casino empire.

9. Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radić

Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Radić

Settlement Amount: $1.2 Billion

Formula One executive Bernie Ecclestone and his wife Slavica Radić divorced in 2009 after 24 years of marriage. The settlement, paid in installments, reportedly amounted to $1.2 billion. Interestingly, the payments went to Slavica despite Bernie’s vast wealth and influence in the motorsport world.

10. Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Arnall

Harold and Sue Ann Hamm

Settlement Amount: $975 Million

Oil tycoon Harold Hamm’s divorce from Sue Ann Arnall in 2015 resulted in one of the largest single-person settlements in history. Hamm wrote a check for $974.8 million, which Sue Ann initially refused but later accepted, concluding a contentious and publicized legal battle.

11. Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi

Adnan and Soraya Khashoggi

Settlement Amount: $874 Million

Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi’s divorce from his wife Soraya in 1980 cost him $874 million. Adjusted for inflation, this amount would be significantly higher today. The settlement was part of the dismantling of one of the world’s most extravagant lifestyles.